Warning: I DON'T know what I'm saying/doing...
My PC is connected to my big TV. I've been using the TV's speakers + on board realtek (eew).. I want to get a good sound card and a receiver/speakers to match (I'm definitely into the 5.1/7.1 gimmick) I found the Xonar ST/X and Auzentech Prelude/Forte. I read several reviews, but need peer input (that's important to me). These were my findings based on others' input:
Xonar Essence ST/X: Best cards for headphones, not recommended for speakers. Lacks Coaxial even with daughter card. (I'm not sure if that's true, but if it is, I'd like to pass on Xonar.)
Auzentech Forte: Slightly better than the Prelude, has coaxial/optical. Best for speakers, but Forte's headphone output has a high failure rate.
1. Folks complain the Forte's headphone out fails.. but what of the coaxial out? I wouldn't care at all if the headphones die, I don't intend to use them, but if the coaxial continues to work perfectly, then I'm sold. (Do you suppose coaxial fails too?)
2. Folks say that optical "usually" bypasses the sound card's hardware and passes the audio straight to the receiver... defeating the purpose of even using the sound card. The Forte has coaxial, but also uses that "same port" for optical with a special adapter. Does that mean the coaxial will skip the sound card's hardware?
3. (if coaxial does not bypass the sound card's hardware).... I'm fixated on coaxial because most modern receivers seem to exclude analog inputs (just 1 analog but not 5.1) and cater more to HDMI, Coaxial and Optical. Is coaxial a valid choice?
I intend to use the sound card with a nice receiver for a 20x15 foot room. I want to solve the sound card issue first before moving on to speakers. Thanks
I know I'm gonna sound stupid to most audiophiles
or experts.. but do help